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    #1

    Smile Did you see the letter which come today (Did you see the letter, which come today)

    Hi,

    I found two sentences from Longman dictionary on my phone:

    1) Did you see the letter which come today?
    2) The house, which was completed in 1856, was famous for its huge marble staircase.

    I don't understand whether it is correct or not, If I changed them as below:

    1) Did you see the letter, which come today?
    2) The house which was completed in 1856 was famous for its huge marble staircase.

    In my mind, all the four sentences are correct.
    Please help to explain. Thanks.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Did you see the letter which come today (Did you see the letter, which come today

    Quote Originally Posted by fenglish View Post
    Hi,

    I found two sentences from Longman dictionary on my phone:

    1) Did you see the letter which come today? There is a mistake in your dictionary. It should be "came", not "come".
    2) The house, which was completed in 1856, was famous for its huge marble staircase.

    I don't understand whether it is correct or not, if I changed them as below:

    3) Did you see the letter, which come today? The comma is unnecessary and the verb is wrong (as it was in the dictionary's original).
    4) The house which was completed in 1856 was famous for its huge marble staircase.

    In my mind, all the four sentences are correct.
    Please help to explain. Thanks.
    See above. I have re-numbered your sentences as 3 and 4 to help differentiate them.

    Note that although both 2 and 4 are correct they read slightly differently:
    Sentence 2 gives extra information about the house with the huge marble staircase. The additional information is that it was completed in 1856.
    Sentence 4 sounds like it is trying to make sure the reader knows we are talking about the house which was completed in 1856, rather than another house and then gives the additional information that that house has a huge marble staircase.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Did you see the letter which come today (Did you see the letter, which come today

    One of the points of English grammar that has disappeared that I miss (because it was useful, not because I was taught it that way so it must be the only right way) is the difference between "that" and "which."

    "That" would have been used in sentences 1 and 4, telling you that I mean "that letter in particular and not another letter" or "the house built that year and not another house."

    I still use "that" for a restrictive clause (identifying the one you mean) and "which" for an unrestricted clause (providing extra information). Few people now do.
    Last edited by Barb_D; 02-Jun-2013 at 20:00.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Did you see the letter which come today (Did you see the letter, which come today

    Barb, I still do that too.

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